Published by Simon and Schuster
Published: March 18th 2014
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Sorrow can be seductive—but can hope triumph over heartbreak? A dark and searing novel from the author of When You Were Mine.
Caggie never wanted to be a hero, but some things are decided for us. Growing up among Manhattan’s social elite, Caggie always had everything a girl could want, including a storied last name. But after saving a girl from the brink of suicide, Caggie becomes infamous, and now all she wants is to be left alone.
After all, she’s still reeling from the death of her younger sister last January, the subsequent destruction of her relationship with high school boyfriend, Trevor, and the way in which her family has since fallen apart.
So when mysterious Astor appears on the Upper East Side, he just might be the rescue she needs. But what is he hiding? As life as she knew it begins to unravel, Caggie realizes Astor’s past may be as dark as her own. And in a world in which she’s been branded a hero, Caggie will soon discover that no one can save you…not until you save yourself.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
First and foremost I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of Rebecca Serle’s other novel, her debut, When You Were Mine. I seriously loved that book to pieces and have been dying for her to publish something else. So I was super super excited when I saw her next book show up on Edelweiss as an advanced copy. I immediately requested it and thanks to some help was approved fairly quickly. And thank goodness for that because the book was fantastic! It was everything that I loved about When You Were Mine but with more. Rebecca Serle has grown as an author (which I didn’t think was possible after finishing her other book) and has truly entered the world of young adult books with her sophomore novel The Edge of Falling. Between the characters and her use of New York as almost a character itself(more on that to come) she definitely has mastered the art of young adult literature.
The Edge of Falling is the story of Caggie, a privileged girl from Manhattan that is carrying around the guilt of her younger sister’s drowning. Wanting the pain of her sister’s death to go away Caggie does something drastic only it doesn’t go as planned. Instead she finds herself labeled a hero and has a whole lot of unwanted attention on her. Feeling trapped Caggie begins to self-destruct and in the process meets Astor, the mysterious new boy at her school. Soon Caggie is on a path that may lead her to more danger than she could have imagined and she has to make a choice if she wants to let the guilt take over or if she wants to live her life.
Oh Caggie! Caggie, Caggie, Caggie! Will someone please give this girl a hug! Man did she break my heart. I mean she was just so lost and so vulnerable and so…sad. She was plain sad and in turn that made me sad. But the thing about Caggie was even in her sadness she was so unbelievably likable. And that is a testament to Serle’s writing and how she makes the reader identify with Caggie. Instead of just wanting her to let go all of that emotion she was feeling and to get on with her life, I wanted to take the journey with Caggie while she figured out what her place was in this world now that everything she once knew was gone. She was the epitome of a lost soul when the book started and those glimpses of light she would have every now and then really brought her to a new level.
Now right from the start I knew Astor was bad news. I thought he was a creepster right from the start. He was too familiar too quickly and I’m not one to believe in those kinds of coincidences. He felt off from me from the start and that was without even reading the description for the book. What I didn’t expect was really how deep his darkness really was. I kept trying to figure out what his deal was and I never would have guessed it in a million years. That made his character kind of fascinating to read in a weird way. I knew I disliked him, but I also wanted to know more.
I also really liked Caggie’s best friend Claire and her ex-ish boyfriend Trevor. Both of these characters seemed to ground Caggie in their own way even when Caggie did everything in her power to push them away and get them to turn their backs on her. I often find the best friends in books to be overbearing and annoying but this wasn’t the case. Claire was there for Caggie and supported her no matter what. Even when they fought and didn’t see eye to eye she knew her best friend needed her and at times did the hard thing which really made me like her. And Trevor was just the cutest. It was so obviously clear how much he still loved Caggie. He did everything in his power to make up for his past mistake and to be there for her even when she refused everything he had to offer. The way he worried about her made me completely swoon. He was basically awesome!
But truly one of my favorite parts of this amazing book was how Serle used New York not as a setting but as a character itself. You have all heard how Sex and the City(the TV show, not the book) made NY a main character to the series, how Central Perk was a 7th friend on Friend’s, how Buffy the Vampire Slayer wouldn’t have been Buffy the Vampire Slayer without The Bronze. Well Serle has woven NYC into The Edge of Falling in such a way that you actually feel the life of the city jumping off the pages. Whether it is the Hamptons or the Upper East Side or the MOA, you can feel the energy of the city that never sleeps and in turn makes it an integral part to Caggie’s story. It really was quiet genius and it made me want to make a visit.
Serle’s sophomore novel is a story of pain and love and growth. It has fantastic characters, a great plot and fantastic writing. I had no doubt after reading When You Were Mine, Serle’s debut, that she would become an auto-buy author for me, and The Edge of Falling has cemented that. I can’t wait to see what comes out of her next. She has a fan in me for sure and when you read her books you will undoubtedly feel the same way.